Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Active Shooter Training: Responding to America's Culture of Violence

On Wednesday, November 6, 2013 I attended an Active Shooter training program with over 125 law enforcement and private security professionals in Jersey City, New Jersey. The training was based on a course developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and essential for crisis prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Recent incidents including the Garden State Plaza Mall, Los Angeles International Airport, Washington Navy Yard and Nevada Middle School are reminders of the criticality of active shooter training initiatives.

Active-shooter incidents triple since 2009: Attorney General-October 28, 2013 Post

Attorney General Eric Holder says the number and the lethal nature of active-shooter incidents nationwide have soared over the past five years.

In remarks to the nation's police chiefs in Philadelphia on Monday, October 21, 2013, the Attorney General said the United States saw an average of five active shooting incidents a year between 2000 and 2008. "Alarmingly, since 2009, this annual average has tripled. We've seen at least 12 active shooter situations so far in 2013."

This violence has been addressed by me since the Columbine tragedy in 1999 including my article titled Active Shooter Training: Responding to America's Culture of Violence for The New Jersey Police Chief Magazine, December 2013 edition and also in presentations, newest book and blogs:

Empire State Building Shooting: Warning Signs of a Disgruntled Former Employee-August 22, 2012 Blog

In the shadow of my most recent workplace violence awareness and prevention initiative and just a short drive away is another new tragedy of violence at one of the world's most famous locations.

As with so many workplace violence tragedies, the shooting at the Empire State Building once again clearly highlights the issue of warning signs.

Published reports expressed a long history of antagonism that even led to complaints on each other (killer and murdered victim) to the NYPD.

As detailed below in my July 14, 2012 post, America's culture of violence demands full force vigilance with continual assessments, training, warning sign intervention, plans, programs and protocols:


On Friday, July 13, 2012, I delivered a presentation titled Workplace Violence Awareness: Prevention, Preparedness, Empowerment to 85 members of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island in East Patchogue. The presentation as organized by Lisa J. Dolan, CPP, President of Securit, covered basic issues of workplace violence and it was designed to increase awareness and initiate additional training, programs and protocols.

As addressed with all of my violence prevention presentations, articles and blogs, such as noted below, this is a serious issue for companies that deserves proactive full force viglilance.


According to its website, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is the premier professional association for facility management and supports the largest community of facility management professionals in the industry. IFMA membership comprises more then 17,500 facility professionals throughout 50 countries and its members have a voice in 126 chapters and 14 councils.

The mission of the New Jersey Chapter of IFMA is to enhance the value of the organization to the professional facility manager. The goal of the New Jersey Chapter is to serve as a user friendly,easily accessible resource of interaction, education and empowerment of professional skills and knowledge.

Complimenting the mission and goal of the New Jersey Chapter of IFMA, I was honored to be the guest speaker for their Wednesday, February 21, 2007 event at the Marriott in Somerset, New Jersey and presented, "Exercising Leadership to Protect Facilities" to over 50 facility management professionals representing New Jersey corporations and schools. The venue was generously sponsored by Bravo Building Services.

The agenda for the evening was:

  • Setting the Stage (Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned-the need for a culture of preparedness, leadership, partnerships and unity of effort)
  • A Crisis of Leadership (Public, Corporate and Professional Sports Scandals)
  • A Culture of Violence (School and Workplace Violence/Terrorism)
  • Exercising Leadership (Security Vulnerability Assessments, Risk Management, Target Hardening, Defense in Depth, Emergency Planning, Personnel Security, Sensitive Information Protection, Security Management, Crisis Management Committee's and Security Protocols including lockdowns, sheltering in place, evacuations, partial and full scale drills)
The presentation highlighted the cornerstone of facility protection as moral leadership, heightened vigilance and dedicated collaboration and the six pillars of practical day-to-day leadership as:
  • Affirmation
  • A Sense of Urgency
  • Dignity
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Compassion
As with all of my presentations, the program was punctuated with a moment of silence to reflect and remember those who are serving in our military and their families, especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The attendees provided significant insights into their work and current concerns. Their commitment and dedication reminds us that:

"Leadership is key for those responsible for facilities and vigilance demands updated, tested and effective emergency plans to protect the lives of individuals entrusted to their care and to safeguard the very survival of their organizations."
International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Click here to visit site
IFMA – New Jersey Chapter Click here to visit site

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